Help me find curing salt in DC
February 5, 2010 4:40 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find curing salt/pink salt in DC?

I got this book for Christmas. There are a lot of recipes for sausage, boudin, and such that require "curing salt," a mixture of salt, spices, and preservatives that provides flavor and prevents spoilage. Previous discussions have called this pink salt or Prague powder.

I can't find this anywhere. I've checked Harris Teeter, Shoppers, Yes Organic Market, and Eastern Market. No one had it or even knew what it was. Eastern Market is the only butcher I know of that's around me (Capitol Hill area), and they were no help.

DC people: any ideas? Or do I need to mail order this? I'm reluctant to use mail order because I'll also need sausage casings at some point, and I imagine those don't hold up well or would be expensive to keep fresh in transit.
posted by jalexc to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not sure if you have this type of store in the DC area, but in Austin I get my pink salt at a farm store so you might check with those if there are any around. You can buy casings at Whole Foods. has all of this stuff for sale online.
posted by sanko at 5:35 PM on February 5, 2010

Curing salt is a mix of fine-grained salt, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite. Some also add a little sugar. I've heard Prague powder is tinted pink to avoid confusion with table salt. You can't substitute other salts (pickling/canning, Kosher, etc.) for curing salt. It'll cure the meat but you won't get the same flavor development.

Morton's makes curing salts that might be easier to find.
posted by cooker girl at 5:42 PM on February 5, 2010

I found some in Chicago by googling, no such luck so far for DC. I'd buy it online, look for insta cure #1.
posted by Max Power at 5:51 PM on February 5, 2010

I believe I saw curing salt recently at a Trader Joe's here in L.A.; maybe call around and see if they have it at one of the TJ's in the DC area?
posted by scody at 6:35 PM on February 5, 2010

Best answer: jalexc - I spoke with a local deer hunter who lives out near Leesburg and he said there aren't really any butchers in the DC Metro area that do this stuff. He recommended as well.
posted by eljuanbobo at 7:21 PM on February 5, 2010

There are several Penzey's Spices around DC, (I used to go to the one in Arlington), sometimes they have curing salts, if they don't, they will know who does. However, I think others are correct, you'll have better luck finding it online.
posted by thebestsophist at 7:38 PM on February 5, 2010

I asked the community via the WeLoveDC twitter account about both salt and casings and someone said they get their salt online but Wegman's has casings. Many miles outside DC but easily drivable.
posted by phearlez at 7:52 PM on February 5, 2010

Best answer: I gave up trying to find curing salt locally and just order it by mail. The stuff keeps forever, you can order a few pounds of it and be set for the rest of your life. Butcher & Packer has much better prices than Sausagemaker.

Sausage casings are a lot easier to find locally, a lot of regular grocery stores carry them. You may have to ask at the butcher counter though, sometimes they carry them but don't put them out.
posted by TungstenChef at 8:25 PM on February 5, 2010

Last year, I looked for months before finally just ordering online from Mortons.
posted by piro at 7:56 AM on February 7, 2010

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